A Fresh Look at Vocabulary Spurts


There is currently rather little agreement about the existence of, and explanation for, a vocabulary spurt in children during the second year. Here we apply a Functional Data Analysis-based technique called Automatic Maxima Detection to the problem of finding vocabulary spurts in a sample of 20 children. Even with considerable smoothing of the data, children were found to exhibit multiple vocabulary spurts of varying intensity and location. These results should provide a clearer target for researchers interested in detecting and explaining these deviations from linear growth.

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